Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was created in 1987 as part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act. The goals of the Center have been to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts. 

The Center is named for Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), a native of Burlington, Iowa, known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist, and educator. He saw the need for development of a land ethic, outlined in his 1949 book of essays, A Sand County Almanac.

Mark Rasmussen is the Leopold Center director.  A 17-member Advisory Board advises the director on policies, budget and program review.

 Completed Grants

Leopold Center News

February 8, 2018

The center helped fund a study in 2016 by researchers in the Department of Chemistry that used fluorescence spectroscopy to identify milk from grass-fed cows. Jacob Petrich and his team in chemistry, measured the amount of chlorophyll metabolites in milk which is greater from cows fed grass compared with those fed grain and silage. Milk from grass-fed dairy cows is of interest to consumers due in part to its high omega-3 fatty acid content. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


February 7, 2018

The Sioux City Journal reported on increased interest in beekeeping at a recent session led by Dordt College agriculture professor Duane Bajema. The center provided the funding of a just-completed grant for Bajema to hold a series of beekeeping classes.​


Of Interest

Mark Rasmussen, Leopold Center director, can answer questions from investigators about the revised grant manual and submissions.